Archirhodomytus beckleri, Rose Myrtle
Archirhodomytus beckleri belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is the only species of Archirhodomytus growing in Australia. The other four species are from New Caledonia.
The common name for this plant is Rose Myrtle and I suspect this name refers to the lovely fragrance of the flowers especially early in the morning before the day warms up.
I have been growing a number of Archirhodomytus beckleriplants for many years, in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. They grow to about four metres high and about two metres wide and produce fragrant, five petalled flowers in October and November. After flowering, small, globular, bright orange/red berries are produced. The plant is very attractive when in flower and when the berries are ripe.
My plants are mulched and are growing in a thin layer of topsoil over a clay sub soil. I have found they respond well to native plant fertiliser and in dry periods, I give them additional water.
After flowering or fruiting I give them a good prune even to old wood near the base, if necessary. Pruned this way, they readily reshoot and put on strong growth. The aim of this pruning is to keep them bushy to ground level and about 2 meters high.
The easiest way to obtain new plants is to raise them from seed -- pick the fruit when it is very soft. Then wash the seeds out of the fruit and sprinkle them over some native plant mix in small pots. Keep moist in a dappled light position and you will be reward with many seedlings in a few weeks. The seeds cannot be stored and need to be sowed immediately.
Archirhodomytus beckleri makes a very attractive plant for your garden and will tolerate considerable sun as well as clay soil. They are also hardy in moderate frosts.